In the final game of the 2023-24 regular season, the Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Washington Capitals, 2-1, at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday evening. The game-winning goal was an empty-netter by T.J. Oshie late in the third period.

The Flyers came in needing a regulation win to sustain their playoff hopes. They also needed a Montreal Canadiens regulation victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday and a New York Islanders win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in regulation on Thursday.

Less than a minute before Oshie scored the game-winning goal in Philadelphia, the Red Wings scored in the final three seconds of their game in Montreal; thereby eliminating Philadelphia. The Capitals victory clinched the final Eastern Conference playoff spot for Washington. The Red Wings and Penguins were also eliminated.

The opening period ended up being pretty evenly played. The Flyers had a goal disallowed, abated by a hasty whistle on a loose puck in the air. The Capitals also had a fortuitous bounce, but their goal counted.

The Flyers seemed to get some puck luck at 8:17 of the first period. A side angle-shot from Joel Farabee was boxed into the air by goalie Charlie Lindgren. As an erroneous whistle blew -- the puck was loose the entire time -- the puck bounced off Farabee's arm and into the net. After a lengthy video review, the officials ruled that play was dead and the goal was not scored on a continuous play.

Washington took a 1-0 lead at 18:08 of the first period. As Alex Ovechkin (31st goal of the season) went to the net, a Dylan McIlrath shot from up high deflected off Ovechkin's body into the net. The assists went to McIlrath and Oshie.

The Flyers knotted the score at 12:29 of the middle frame. Egor Zamula moved laterally across the blueline and wristed the puck at the net. Erik Johnson (5th) deflected the puck into the net for a 1-1 tie. The assists went to Sean Couturier and Zamula.

With Washington needing a win of any kind -- regulation, overtime or shootout -- to clinch a playoff spot, the Caps were content to play very conservatively in the third period; staying above the puck defensively and taking no risks.

Unable to score a go-ahead goal, the Flyers pulled the goalie for a 6-on-5. At 17:00 of the third period, Oshie (12th) scored an empty net goal. The lone assist went to Nic Dowd.

Samuel Ersson stopped 16 of 17 shots. Lindgren stopped 27 of 28 shots, also benefiting from 32 blocked shots in front of him. 

The Flyers went 0-for-1 on the power play. The Capitals did not receive a power play.


71 Tyson Foerster - 25 Ryan Poehling - 11 Travis Konecny
27 Noah Cates - 14 Sean Couturier - 19 Garnet Hathaway
74 Owen Tippett - 48 Morgan Frost - 10 Bobby Brink
86 Joel Farabee- 21 Scott Laughton -89 Cam Atkinson

8 Cam York - 6 Travis Sanheim
24 Nick Seeler - 9 Jamie Drysdale
5 Egor Zamula - 77 Erik Johnson

33 Samuel Ersson
[82 Ivan Fedotov]


Going into the third period, the Flyers and Capitals were even on the scoreboard, but the Flyers were, for all intents and purposes, down by a goal. The Capitals treated the third period almost like a closeout of a one-goal game and eventually got the empty-net goal that sent them to the playoffs.


1) The Poehling line started the game's first shift for the Flyers. T.J. Oshie hit the post for Washington on the first shift.  At 5:03, Ersson fought for a save on Carlson. Shots on goal through 6:16 were 3-0 Capitals. 

The Flyers went on the game's first power play at 9:03 as Tom Wilson was called for tripping. Aliaksei Protas was denied one-on-one by Ersson.  Philadelphia generated three shots of their own, including a close-range deflection by Konecny, but could not score.

At 18:08, Ovechkin scored a deflection goal for a 1-0 Washington lead.

2) First period shots on goal were tied at 7-7. Shot attempts were 20-15 Flyers. Scoring chances were 8-5 Capitals. High-danger scoring chances were 8-5 Washington. Faceoffs were 7-6 Capitals. Philly was credited with 14 hits to five for Washington, led by three for Hathaway. The Capitals blocked 10 shots attempts to two blocks by Phily. 

3) York tipped a puck on net just nine seconds into the second period but it was ruled that the puck was going wide and no shot was credited. Protas has Washington's first shot at 1:36.

The Capitals iced the puck at 4:27. Couturier won the ensuing draw but an errant back pass to the point by Cates saw the puck dribble out to center ice. 

John Tortorella made some line combination switches. Through nine minutes, shots were a mere 1-1. At mid-period, Tippett attempted a between-the-legs shot. Shots were 3-2 Flyers through 11:11. Couturier tied the game at 12:29.

The goal by Johnson brought a surge of energy to the Flyers. The next four or five shifts saw the Flyers pressure heavily.

4) Second period shots on goal were 8-5 Flyers (15-12 Flyers overall). Shot attempts were 25-18 Flyers (45-33 Flyers overall). Scoring chances were 9-9 (17-14 Capitals overall). High-danger scoring chances were 5-1 Flyers (7-7 overall). Faceoffs were 11-8 Capitals (18-14 Capitals overall). Through two periods, the Capitals had blocked a combined 20 shot attempts by Philadelphia.

Also of note:  For much of the second period, Tortorella benched Frost, Brink and Atkinson. They remained on the bench for the rest of the game.

5)  A Tippett-Laughton-Konecny line started the third period for the Flyers. The Flyers iced the puck at 1:17. The Capitals controlled the net several shifts in terms of territorial play. Seeler came up with a clutch shot block. At 3:31, Sanheim blocked a shot out of play.  Shots on goal were 1-1.

At 4:22, Zamula wristed a shot on net through traffic. Through 8:41, shots on goal were 5-2 Flyers.   

The Capitals continued to check tightly, being perfectly comfortable to let the clock run. Zamula put a side-angle shot on at 13:36 for an easy save. At 13:59, Ersson found a puck through traffic to keep the score at 1-1.

There was a TV timeout at 15:25. Shots on goal were 8-5 Flyers. York broke up a near 2-on-1 for the Caps on the next shift. 

The Flyers pulled Ersson for a 6-on-5, knowing a regulation tie would be worthless but not yet knowing they'd already been eliminated by Detroit. Oshie scored at 17:00.

Third period shots on goal were 13-6 Flyers  (28-18 overall). Shot attempts were 31-23 Flyers (77-56 Flyers overall). Scoring chances were 15-5 Flyers (31-22 Flyers overall). High-danger scoring chances were 7-1 Flyers (14-9 Flyers overall). Final faceoffs were 30-28 Caps.